Dr. Jim, the Director of Pet Rock Holidays and Vacations, hasn’t always lived on Maui.
Recently we came across some of his backstory.
An excerpt from his Journal:
Sent: Sunday, October 17, 1999 9:13 AM
Subject: walkabout update, 10/17/1999
(This sequel to my North Carolina dispatches was delayed due to difficulties that are herein stated. I’m writing this from the safety and comfort of the Collins ranch in Millen, GA.)
So on my first day at Monica’s ranch in NC she had to work. Her husband, Darrell, said he’d show me the sights. This was on Saturday. Now you may wonder what “sights” there are to see in the heart of horse country. I know I did. Well, I’ve been holding off telling this story becuase I’m only now (8 days later) recovering, and I’ve been a bit embarrassed by it, but here it is:
Darrell took me into a town called “Love Valley”, which bills itself as the Cowboy Capital. Capital of what, they don’t say, so I guess you can’t dispute it. So anyhow, we have breakfast at the “Hitching Post” restaurant (seats 13), then mosey around town. Note that I’m the only person lacking cowboy boots and cowboy hat. Well, after the livestock and farm equipment auction we wandered over to the hoedown and flea market. It turns out there was a chili cook-off later in the day, and Darrell and June-Bug (a 450 lb. former Hells Angel turned trail guide) were to be judges in the chili competition.
Well, the third judge called in sick at the last moment and I happened to be standing there at the judge’s table asking directions to the beer wagon when the call came. I was assured by the other two judges (Darrell and June-Bug) that the chili wouldn’t be all that spicy, and besides they told me I could have free beer during the tasting, so I accepted this as being one of those burdens you endure when you’re a famous traveler and therefore known and adored by all (Darrell had been taking care of that all morning).
Well, here’s the scorecards from the event, as best as I can remember it:
Chili # 1: Mike’s Maniac Mobster Monster Chili
DARRELL: A little too heavy on tomato. Amusing kick.
JUNE-BUG: Nice, smooth tomato flavor Very mild.
JIM: “Holy smokes, what is this stuff? You could remove dried paint from your driveway with it. Took me two beers to put the flames out. Hope that’s the worst one. These people are crazy.”
Chili # 2: Arthur’s Afterburner Chili
DARRELL: Smoky (barbecue?) with a hint of pork. Slight Jalapeno tang.
JUNE-BUG: Exciting BBQ flavor, needs more peppers to be taken seriously.
JIM: “Keep this out of reach of children! I’m not sure what I’m supposed to taste besides pain.” I had to wave off two people who wanted to give me the Heimlich maneuver. Shoved my way to the front of the beer line. (The barmaid looks like a professional wrestler after a bad night. She was so irritated over my gagging sounds that the snake tattoo under her eye started to twitch. She has arms like Popeye and a face like Winston Churchill. I will NOT pick a fight with her.)
Chili # 3: Fred’s Famous Burn Down the Barn Chili
DARRELL: Excellent firehouse chili! Great kick. Needs more beans.
JUNE-BUG: A beanless chili, a bit salty, good use of red peppers.
JIM: “This has got to be a joke. Call the EPA, I’ve located a !?##?!?%?~?! uranium spill. My nose feels like I have been sneezing Drano.” Everyone knows the routine by now and got out of my way so I could make it to the beer wagon. Barmaid pounded me on the back; now my backbone is in the front part of my chest. She said her friends call her “Sally.” Probably behind her back they call her “Forklift.”
Chili# 4: Bubba’s Black Magic
DARRELL: Black bean chili with almost no spice. Disappointing.
JUNE-BUG: Hint of lime in the black beans. Good side dish for fish or other mild foods, not much of a chili.
JIM: I felt something scraping across my tongue, but was unable to taste it. Sally was standing behind me with fresh refills so I wouldn’t have to dash over to see her. When she winked at me her snake sort of coiled and uncoiled … it’s kinda cute.
Chili # 5: Linda’s Legal Lip Remover
DARRELL: Meaty, strong chili. Cayenne peppers freshly ground adding considerable kick. Very impressive.
JUNE-BUG: Chili using shredded beef; could use more tomato. Must admit the cayenne peppers make a strong statement.
JIM: My ears are ringing and I can no longer focus my eyes. I belched and four people in front of me needed paramedics. The contestant seemed hurt when I told her that her chili had given me brain damage. Sally saved my tongue by pouring beer directly on it from a pitcher. Sort of irritates me that one of the other judges asked me to stop screaming.
Chili # 6: Vera’s Very Vegetarian Variety
DARRELL: Thin yet bold vegetarian variety chili. Good balance of spice and peppers.
JUNE-BUG: The best yet. Aggressive use of peppers, onions, and garlic. Superb.
JIM: My intestines are now a straight pipe filled with gaseous flames. No one seems inclined to stand behind me except Sally. She asked if I want to go dancing later.
Chili # 7: Susan’s Screaming Sensation Chili
DARRELL: A mediocre chili with too much reliance on canned peppers.
JUNE-BUG: Ho Hum, tastes as if the chef threw in canned chili peppers at the last moment. I should note that I am worried about Judge Number 3, he appears to be in a bit of distress.
JIM: You could put a hand grenade in my mouth and pull the pin and I wouldn’t feel it. I’ve lost the sight in one eye and the world sounds like it is made of rushing water. My clothes are covered with chili which slid unnoticed out of my mouth at some point. Good, at autopsy they’ll know what killed me. I’ve decided to stop breathing, it’s too painful and I’m not getting any oxygen anyway. If I need air I’ll just let it in through the hole in my stomach. Call the X-Files people and tell them I’ve found a super nova on my tongue.
Chili # 8: Helen’s Mount Saint Chili
DARRELL: This final entry is a good, balanced chili, neither mild nor hot. Sorry to see that most of it was lost when Judge Number 3 fell and pulled the chili pot on top of himself.
JUNE-BUG: A perfect ending, this is a nice blend chili, safe for all, not too bold but spicy enough to declare its existence.
That was eight days ago……..
Soooooo……. for obvious reasons I’m only now getting back to normal, and realized that I better tell you about this myself, before you hear about it as family rumors or see the tape on TNN (that’s TNN, not CNN).
I guess Darrell was really embarassed, and has been told to refrain from bringing “city folk” to Love Valley any more. For those brothers and sisters, son, neices and nephews of mine that were looking forward to visiting Love Valley with Monica and Darrell at some time in the future, all I can do is quote a famous midget I know: “Oh, well!”
Sally called today and said she’s pregnant with my baby. Oh, my!